Doctors on strike could face disciplinary action

Members of the National Doctors Association could face disciplinary action if they continue the nationwide strike.

Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said that a medical officer who walks away from his post abandons his own responsibilities.

Kase said this act breaches his contract of employment and leaves him open to disciplinary action.

He explained that the role of the NDA is to protect the rights of medical officers and make sure their welfare is taken care of.

“The rights of medical officers are not in issue here as the clearly stated purpose of strike action is political.

“Action will be taken as officers who aid or participate in a strike which interferes with the provision of health services are likely to be in breach of the law.

“The penalty for such breach is summary dismissal and officers who continue to disobey their ethical and legal obligations risk disciplinary action,” Kase said.   

Kase reminded doctors and health workers that they’re greatly needed in our clinics and hospitals, to use their skill to treat patients seeking medical as they have every right to access the best medical treatment.

Meantime, the resumption of normal duties at the hospital is a welcome development.

Reports from the Port Moresby General Hospital stated that some doctors stayed away from work yesterday in support of the NDA Petition.

After meetings with Kase and the senior management of the Health Department, operations are back to normal.

Kase said, “I am glad to say that not all doctors support the move to strike action by the NDA executives.

“Some have not abandoned their posts and some are now returning to work.

Kase commended the PNG Nurses Association and allied Health Association of PNG for not supporting the strike action.

Quintina Naime